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Honda Pulls out of 2009 F1 Competition
    2008-12-05 15:22:54     Xinhua

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Honda will withdraw from Formula One by the end of this year, citing deteriorating business conditions due to the global financial turmoil and the worldwide economic downturn.

"Near-term uncertainty surrounding the global economy continues to grow and we expect recovery to take some time," President Takeo Fukui of Honda Motor Co., Japan's second-largest automaker said, quoted by Kyodo News Agency.

"It was a very difficult decision," Fukui said.

Tokyo-based Honda also made the decision to exit F1 because of the lack of positive advertising impact from participation due to the team's slack performance, sources close to the matter said.

Honda had best match records in the 1980s but its results were unsatisfactory to shareholders in recent year.

Some of Honda's shareholders had been urging the firm to pull out of F1, which is estimated to cost Honda more than 50 billion yen a year, amid slumping auto sales, according to Kyodo.

In October, Honda slashed its sales outlook for the current business year ending next March to 11.6 trillion yen from the 12. 13 trillion yen it projected in July.

Industry analysts fear the incident marked the global economic downturn has begun to spread over into sporting businesses, and possibly it may ripple to other non-core operations such as cultural activities.



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